By Kristen Metsch

It’s almost 9:15 pm as I pull into my garage and realize I don’t remember anything about my drive home from Denver. I was commuting at the time and often faded in and out during the long drive.

At the time, I figured my problem was not drinking enough coffee so I naturally increased my daily habit of one cup of coffee to two… and so on. A few weeks go by after increasing the caffeine and I start experiencing new symptoms that develop into a new set of health concerns. Quite frankly, I was miserable. The kind of miserable that makes you think about taking a one-way ticket to Hawaii and living off a diet of fallen coconuts and the generosity of strangers.

Seeking A Helping Hand

Needless to say, I decided not to take that one-way ticket and instead I reached out to a registered dietitian I had met in one of my networking groups. This was the best decision of my life. My pursuit of health began with a variety of investigative testing, supplementation, diet planning, and monitoring/tracking of symptoms. We discovered I was suffering from adrenal burnout and insulin resistance, both of which are directly correlated with a lack of proper nutrition. I had no idea that the daily habits of stress, poor diet, caffeine, and lack of sleep were to blame. I realized that even if you’re in your twenties, you don’t get a free pass to good health. As a nation, we are noticing our health declining at an earlier and earlier age and it’s no wonder!

It’s been almost two years since I started my pursuit of optimum health. Every day is an opportunity to manage my time effectively and provide proper nourishment for my body. In the great words of Mahatma Gandhi, “It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.”

I had not realized I was sacrificing my health and well-being in order to keep going. By the time I experienced burn out, I had become an unreliable employee since I was getting sick so often. My food choices throughout the day directly influenced not only my ability to show up, but my cognitive performance at work.

Balancing work and health

Eating Right is Part of Our Everyday Health

Everything we eat is converted into fuel that will hopefully give our body and our brain the energy it needs to process information and stay alert. However, with the rush of deadlines, time constraints, and the convenience of fast food, we are often undernourished and overworked.

Prioritizing your health requires self-care and an action plan. There are many different whole food lifestyles to choose from after a quick search on the internet. One of my personal recommendations for anyone starting their journey towards good health is the book Maximized Metabolix written by NY Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal Best-Selling Author Dr. Ben After discovering many of the flaws in our conventional agricultural practices, I am also a strong advocate of eating locally and organically whenever possible. There’s nothing better than knowing where your food is coming from and what has been done to it.

Without proper nutrition, you are basically operating at 60% capacity. This lack of robust health affects productivity and opportunities for career advancement. It was also found that “Employees who eat healthy all day long were 25 percent more likely to have higher job performance… and those who eat five or more servings of fruit and vegetables at least four times a week were 20 percent more likely to be more productive” (http://www.business newsdaily.com/3699-healthy-eatingworker-productivity.html#sthash.Qyz7 IkNs.dpuf”)A diet that’s clean and full of whole foods will also help avoid certain diseases linked with poor diets such as diabetes and cancers.

It’s a new year, so what changes in your diet and lifestyle can you make to increase your productivity at work?

Kristen Metsch
Kristen Metsch utilizes 10 years of business experience at Blue Federal Credit Union as a Business Development Specialist. You can find Kristen meeting with local business owners to help their business thrive. When she’s not working, you can find her hiking at Horsetooth with her corgi and bull terrier.